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Nazar Nasir: Kashmir’s only male crochet artist

Post by Syeda Rafiyah on Sunday, December 4, 2022

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Nazar Nasir is the only male crochet artist from Kashmir who started learning crocheting in 2016. It all started when his sister once went to her aunt’s home in Ganderbal in central Kashmir where she learned the basics of crocheting.
“When my sister came back home, she started doing crocheting. She brought a crochet hook and some yarn from our aunt. When I saw my sister doing it I too tried to learn from her. I found it very interesting,” he said.
Hailing form Lal Bazar area of Srinagar, when Nasir learned the basics he tried to make some creative products.
“I remember that day I tried it until 2 a.m. during night and made a flower. I made the little product and I was so excited. The next day, I showed it to my family and they were very happy when they saw it,” he said.
Then, he made a cap and he was attracted more towards the art. He started visiting to an internet café in and learnt crocheting through extensive tutorials on YouTube. “I learning about it more and downloaded some videos there. Out these videos I learned making cap,” he said.
“Initially I got discouraged by comments of people. They told me it is women oriented craft and I should not do it. However, I continued to do my research on crochet making,” he said.
First Nasir, who is pursuing MA in English at Cluster University Srinagar, made a cap for himself for which he got appreciation by his friends who also asked him to make caps for them.
Then he started his hobby into a small business and started charging for his products. Later, Nasir also learned knitting but he focused on crocheting.
“Earlier, I was a bit hesitant but later many people appreciated me for crochet art which is mostly women dominated in Kashmir. It gave me encouragement. Normally men are not associated with crochet but I took it as a challenge,” he said, adding“We can make decorative items like toys that have a high demand in market these days.”
The 22-year-old artist said it was difficult for him to create a mark in the field. “I paid no heed to criticism, worked hard and today I don’t regret the decision that I took 6 years ago,” he said.
“The crochet as an art is very demanding and people have been appreciating it that is what gives strength to an artist like me and that is what matters,” he said.
Nasir said it is now his mission to take it to another level adding that many people know about the art but they do not know its market value.
“I can help people in generating employment. I get many orders. I can train people myself. I can take it to another level,” he said.
Later he created his Instagram handle by the name Knotty Crafts to share his work. Within no time, he started getting orders and turned it into a small business. Over the years, the young artist has made a huge customer base. He gets orders from around the world.
The self-taught artist makes many decorative items like toys and clothes for children, socks, sweaters, portraits of birds, mobile holders, sling bags, plant hangers, frames, dolls, accessories, gloves, and home decor fabric items.
The products are priced between 500 and 7000 rupees depending upon the requirement of customer. On average, he receives around 30 orders in a month.
Nasir gets all the orders from social media like facebook and instagram. Recently, he got an order from Canada which was delivered within five days from Kashmir.
“Today the scene is different and people are interested in handmade products. I give my customers a choice. I make the exact product they want,” he said.
Nasir is the only male crochet artist in his family and in the neighborhood. Apart from remaining busy with studies, he monthly earns Rs 20,000 to 30,000 and manages it at home.
Few months ago, Nasir also started weekly online classes and teaches crochet to some 20 students who hail from Kashmir and other parts of India.
“Recently, I got a call from a parent from Mumbai who wanted me to teach crochet to his two kids,” he said.
He said there is a need to break the preconceived notion that crochet is women-dominated art. “Young artists interested in crochet should come forward and work hard. Internet is the medium to learn. There are also many influencers who can guide them,” he said.
Nasir believes that a craft is not just a way to earn an honorable living but also a source of peace and solace for mind and soul.

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